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Windows 10 21H2 feature update is here, but with a catch

Microsoft announced the next feature update to Windows 10 — the 21H2 on Thursday. While the update isn’t significant compared to the upcoming Windows 11, it brings several security and productivity features.

The update will be delivered using servicing technology like the one used for monthly updates. Since the update is targeted at the second half of 2021, the Home and Pro editions will have 18 months of servicing while the Enterprise and Education editions get 30 months. 

Announcing the release, Microsoft said, “Our goal is to provide new features and functionality via a fast and reliable update experience to help keep people and organisations protected and productive. Version 21H2 will continue the recent feature update trend of being delivered in an optimised way using servicing technology.”

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What does Windows 10 21H2 update bring?

As mentioned before, this isn’t exactly a big update but adds features focussed on security and productivity. The following three features are being added in 21H2. 

  • WPA3 H2E (Hash to Element) protocol support for better WiFi security against side-channel attacks and reduced risk of future side-channel attacks. 
  • Windows Hello for Business now supports simplied paswordless deployement models.
  • GPU compute support for Windows Subsystem for Linux and Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows allowing for deployment of machine learning and other compute intensive workflows. (requires Hyper-V and WSL2 installed)

Here’s the catch

For the initial test of the update, Microsoft only made it available to Windows Insiders who were moved from the Beta channel to the Release channel due to their PCs not meeting the minimum requirements for Windows 11

Even for these users, the update isn’t automatic. Instead, you’re going to have to check for it in the Windows Update menu manually, a practice called ‘seeking’. Once updated, Windows 10 will be upgraded to build 19044.1147.

Additionally, Microsoft will also be launching the next version of the Windows 10 long-term servicing channel (LTSC) based on this feature update which will have five years of service, as the company announced in February

As more and more development goes towards Windows 11, Microsoft will continue to release feature updates for Windows 10 until October 2025 to give businesses and general consumers more time to switch to Windows 11 eventually. 

A screenshot of Windows 11 | Source: Microsoft

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